Forums > Living in Kunming > Kunming FRAUD
In case you're interested, MOST international 5 star hotels have a pre-vetted list of architects and design firms that they put into tender (bid & proposal). You would normally compete with incredibly cut-throat firms, such as HBA (look them up).
International hotels and most other tendering opportunities with multinationals for multinationals require competitive bids and rarely sole source, to reduce the risks of collusion, coercion, bribery, and corruption.
MOST international bids require prospective vendors to post bid and eventually performance bonds AND to purchase the tendering documents (usually a nominal fee, depending on one's perspective of the word "nominal"). The bid and performance bonds typically eliminate SME (small to medium enterprise) firms from participation.
USUALLY smaller firms will partner with larger well-known firms, at the risk of circumvention. This requires an extraordinarily strong relationship with the larger firms, usually accompanied by ludicrous entertainment (borne by your firm) and the scent of downstream payoffs of some kind.
SME's also need to be aware that questionable or non-vetted projects MAY use you to attract the larger fish, by creating the illusion of a competitive tender.
There are a host of other complications that make dream opportunities inherently difficult and risky, but these are some of the major white collar fraud type risks.
Kudos to you for avoiding a potentially costly and painful lesson.
That said - various regions of China a awash in genuine opportunities for qualified foreign vendors, but you need to look for opportunities that are within the monetary size and scope of your firm.
As a final note - best to try to work directly with the project's investors, as opposed to the project's management. NOT a panacea, but it helps lower your circumvention and other blatantly fraudulent risks and behaviors of project management.
Of course, investment management teams also come with their own set of risks and peculiar behaviors.